Ruins are everywhere, yet can we be certain of exactly what they might be? Do they constitute figure or ground? How is the ruin given its figuration and from where does it garner a sense, if any, of grounding? Can we regard them as ever-changing archives? Are figure, ground, style, substance, taste, and form even significant markers when attempting to tie the study of the ruin (and ruination) to aesthetic practice?

The ruin can, as well, be a situated, sited and cited entity in the visual field, given an affective value or measure—historical, cultural, socio-political—structured upon the very tentative gesture of how one looks on such spatial decay. It is as much about looking and seeing—both in regards to the presence of unruly fragments and to the absence of what does not remain after, or in the aftermath of, loss—as it is about sense and perception, and remembrance and forgetting. What remains, might be a central question to consider when thinking about how the ruin addresses both loss and subsequent redemption from within the scene of this loss. Alternate to a sense of loss that the ruin might signify is this sense of the redemptive that it promises—a looking forward, as such, from the moment of the present and from within a sense of immanent presence, on to what might be materially viable and spatially ephemeral or livable. Speaking on terms that are redemptive, how, then, would the ruin be situated within conversations that concern urban and social planning, and within discussions about how architecture and architectural theory might respond to decay and it aesthetic representation? As such, urban decay, ecology, environmental reconstitution and technological ruination add to the broader dialogue regarding how the ruin might be configured and experienced as sites of both livability and abandonment.

Furthermore, can the ruin become metaphor, especially within the scene of aesthetic practice? In a sense, spatial and architectural imaginaries might limit the capacity of the ruin to be thought differently. Can we think of it otherwise—as ruined time, as in the case of the photograph and photographic time? Or a ruin further localized to address the corporeal body and embodiment itself? Consequentially, in aesthetic practice, is it possible to resist the urge, always already existent, to convert it into fetish object?


On Ruined Time and Space - Ricky Varghese

Feature Artist
Privation - Angela Grauerholz

The Remainders of Memory: Berlin's Postnational AestheticJoshua Synenko
Entropy, Ephemera and Visions of the Home in Tricia Middleton's Form is the Destroyer of Force, Without Severity There Can Be No Mercy - Daniella E. Sanader

Thought Experiments
Finding Lost Newness - Adam Kaasa
apostrophe: Study for Three Reclining Figures – Francisco-Fernando Granados
Speaking of Time: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Framing Yugoslavia’s Spomenik Post '89 - Yasmin Nurming-Por
Constructed Ruin - Ashley McLellan

Ruin Lust - Yoanna (Yoli) Terziyska
Eva Kot’átková - Natasha Chaykowski
All Beneath the Moon Decays - Britt Gallpen

Perishable Bodies: An Interview with Joshua Vetivellu - Natasha Chaykowski
'Never Perfect, Never Done, Never Resolved’: An Interview with Karl Burkheimer - Joshua West Smith
Peripheral Ruin: An Interview with Heidi Schwegler - Avantika Bawa
Making Time: A Conversation on Aging Film Costumes between Clare Wilkinson and Anthea Mallinson

Creative Writing
Stories from Sappho - Hannah Rahimi
Haiku Breaks on Tides of Melancholia - Concetta Principe
Ground Pepper - Jen MacDonald
Coarse Edges - Gili Haimovich
Inheriting A Threadbare Political Treatise - Elleni Centime Zeleke
Darkness is a Trusted Friend - Siouxzi L. Mernagh

Art Projects
Bombenkrater - Henning Rogge, with commentary by Ricky Varghese
Of Becoming - Mary Grisey
Consilience - Julia Davis
Remembrance - Sabina Zeba Haque
To the City - Gordon Stillman
Hydrogen - Lydia Rosenberg
A Walkabout in Ruins - Brendan A. de Montigny and Christopher E. Payne


This issue was edited by Ricky Varghese

We would like to thank Caoimhe Morgan-Feir who acted as the Interviews editor, Nancy Webb who was the Reviews editor, and Natasha Chaykowski for her immeasurable support as Managing Editor for this issue.

Icon image - Folded Book no 145, back, 2001, Angela Grauerholz, Ink jet print (Giclée) on Arches paper
Ruin - Vol. 11:2, 2014